Jan. 2, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky diving team will open the new year at the Georgia Diving Invitational Friday through Sunday against 13 other schools in Athens, Ga.
The 14-team field includes seven Southeastern Conference opponents. In addition to the Wildcats and Georgia, SEC foes Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Missouri and Tennessee will compete in UGA’s Gabrielsen Natatorium. Clemson, Iowa State, James Madison, Kansas, North Carolina State, SMU and Towson round out the competition.
Competition commences Friday at 11 a.m. ET with the prelims of the women’s 1-meter and men’s 3-meter springboard, followed by the finals. Saturday, the women will compete on the 3-meter and the men on the 1-meter beginning at 11 a.m. The top six divers from the finals on each event will compete in the Bulldog Shootout on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m.
Platform events will take place Sunday, with the men starting at 10 a.m. and the women at 2 p.m.
FOLLOW ALONG FROM ATHENS
Fans can follow along with all the action from UGA’s Gabrielsen Natatorium with live results available at DiveMeets.com. Additional updates can be found at @UKSwimDive, the official Twitter account of the UK swimming and diving program.
LAST TIME OUT: AT OHIO STATE INVITATIONAL
UK’s last team competition was at the Ohio State Invitational Nov. 22-24. The five-team field featured three squads ranked in the top 15 in both the men’s and women’s rankings. In the final team totals, the UK women registered 418 points over the three days, behind No. 3 Florida, No. 5 Virginia, No. 14 Ohio State and Purdue. The Wildcat men racked up 476 points and were defeated by No. 11 Ohio State, No. 1 Florida and No. 10 Virginia. The UF women had 1,099 points, while the OSU men accumulated 1,137.
UK junior Christina Bechtel set two school record times, with a 1:54.21 to win the 200 yard butterfly and a 51.36 for a second-place finish in the 100 yard butterfly. Bechtel also placed second in the 400 medley relay along with four more top-11 finishes.
Junior diver Christa Cabot won the platform event with a score of 283.50. She finished in the top five in both the 1- and 3-meter springboard events. Junior Abby Myers placed second in the 200 yard butterfly in 1:56.59, just behind Bechtel, while Eric Bruck recorded a third-place finish in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 20.00.
UP NEXT: UK AT ALABAMA AND ARKANSAS
The spring season officially begins next weekend for the Wildcats, when UK travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to race SEC-foes Alabama and Arkansas on Jan. 11.
SEC HONORS BECHTEL, FERRUCCI AND FLYNN
The Wildcats have been honored with four Southeastern Conference Athlete of the Week honors this season. Freshman Brandon Flynn was named the Freshman of the Week on Oct. 29, while junior swimmer Christina Bechtel and senior diver Greg Ferrucci were honored with the season’s first Athlete the Week awards on Oct. 15. Bechtel was honored again on Nov. 27 with Swimmer of the Week accolades.
Bechtel broke two school records, set two meet records and recorded three NCAA ‘A’ or ‘B’ qualifying times in seven events Nov. 22-24 at the Ohio State Invitational to earn her second SEC honor. Competing against four teams, three of them ranked in the top 14 nationally, Bechtel posted career best times in all individual events.
Flynn was named the SEC’s Male Freshman Swimmer of the Week for the first time in his career after he won all four events he competed in against Missouri and Southern Illinois over two days. Flynn recorded his first collegiate win in the men’s 400 individual medley, and, eight events later, he returned to the water to win the men’s 500 freestyle. The next day, Flynn won the 1,000 yard freestyle in 9:21.94 before leading the way as the UK men finished one-two-three in the 500 yard freestyle.
Ferrucci, who has won all four diving events to open the year, was named the SEC’s Male Diver of the Week for the eighth time in his career. Ferrucci recorded wins in all four competitions to start the season. At Georgia on Sept. 25, he notched victories in the 1- and 3-meter dives, while the senior swept the diving events again at home against Ohio State on Oct. 11.
Bechtel earned her first career SEC Female Swimmer of the Week honor after a two-win performance Oct. 11 against Ohio State. On the strengths of two wins in the butterfly against Ohio State, Bechtel was ranked second nationally in the 100-yard butterfly after she finished first with a time of 54.34. Bechtel, an NCAA qualifier last year, also posted a win in the 200-yard butterfly against the Buckeyes.
THE JORGENSEN FILE
Lars Jorgensen is in his first season as head coach at Kentucky after serving as an associate head coach for the Wildcats last season. A 1988 Olympian and standout student-athlete at the University of Tennessee, Jorgensen served as interim head coach for his alma mater in 2011-12. He also spent time on the coaching staffs at Toledo and LSU.
As a student-athlete at UT, Jorgensen holds the school record in the 1,000 freestyle, set in 1992. He earned a silver medal at the 1993 SEC Championships in the 1,650 freestyle and helped the Volunteers to a third-place finish.
At the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Jorgensen placed ninth in the 1,500-meter freestyle. His brother Daniel also competed in 1988, making them the second pair of brothers to participate in an Olympics. Daniel returned to the Olympics in 1992 and won a bronze medal as part of the 800 freestyle team, while their father, Niels, was an Olympic wrestler for Denmark.
UK returns all four student-athletes that competed at the 2013 Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championships. Senior diver Greg Ferrucci is coming off fourth-place finishes in all three NCAA events and became the first diver to earn First-Team All-America honors in one season on the 1 meter, 3 meter and platform. Senior John Fox and juniors Christina Bechtel and Christa Cabot made their first NCAA appearance in 2013.
2013-14 CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED
Seniors John Fox and Maclin Simpson and junior Michael Christian were named captains of the UK men’s team, while juniors Christina Bechtel, Christa Cabot and Lindsay Hill were announced as captains of the women’s squad.
A LOOK AT THE 2013-14 SCHEDULE
The 2013-14 campaign features dual or tri meets with five SEC foes and two home competitions. In addition to Oct. 11’s home opener against Ohio State, the Wildcats welcome Cincinnati to Lexington on Feb. 1 at noon at the Lancaster Aquatics Center on the UK campus.
The 2014 SEC Championships will be held Feb. 18-22 in Athens, Ga. The NCAA Women’s Championship will be in Minneapolis, Minn., March 20-23, while the men’s national championship will be March 27-30 in Austin, Texas.
The complete 2013-14 schedule can be found here.
For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Swimming and Diving program, go to UKathletics.com/SwimmingDiving. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKSwimDive and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKSwimDive.